In the spirit of March Madness, here on the blog this month we will be holding the first official Familiar Madness Tournament. 16 of the all-time great familiars from literature, film, and television will face off in a single elimination tourney to decide who is the greatest of them all.
5. Pantalaimon – Lyra Belacqua’s shapeshifting animal companion
“Lyra's dæmon, Pantalaimon, is her dearest companion and the embodiment of her soul. In common with all dæmons of children, he can take any animal form he pleases; he first appears in the story as a dark brown moth. He changes into many forms throughout the series, ranging from a dragon to an eagle, but his favorite forms are a snow-white ermine, a moth, a wildcat, and a mouse.
His ermine form is his favorite form while sleeping, and the color of his fur depends on his mood. As a wildcat, he is described as appearing ‘lean, rugged, and harsh.’ He often becomes a mouse when he is shy or scared, and will often go into Lyra's pocket in this form. When he takes the form of a bird, he is generally noted as becoming a goldfinch, an eagle, or an owl.” (Wiki)
One word: shapeshifter. A unique talent among familiars, and a pretty versatile, awesome one at that.
If you could shapeshift into anything, what would it be? How do you think Pantalaimon will fare in the familiar showdown?
Tomorrow: We return to Hogwarts and meet a Muggle-born’s familiar.